Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eric Menck and Paul Chastain - Firetrucks and Periwinkles (198?)

To many of you, the names above will instantly conjure up the cult-classiqe, power/jangle pop act Velvet Crush. You know, two-dozen chart topping hits, platinum albums, international media empire, etc.. No? Don't think so? Who am I kidding...anyway. The Menck/Chastain alliance actually predates Velvet Crush's 1990 debut wax by quite a few years. If you're familiar with the posthumous album of the duo's late '80s recordings, Hey Wimpus: The Early Recordings of Paul Chastain & Ric Menck (aka Choo Choo Train) you know the deal. You can get the full scoop here and even order the album which is still readily available.

Firetrucks and Periwinkles is an unofficial, hissy-cassette derived compilation of demos that didn't appear on Wimpus, but by the sound of it were likely outtakes thereof. I stumbled on this on Soulseek just a few weeks ago, but since many of you don't use file-sharing applications, I thought I'd lead you to a shortcut. Some of the twelve titles here, including "Perfect Day," "Sunflower," and "Delaware Rain," among a few others, appear on Menck's singles comp album, The Ballad of Ric Menck. Since none of the overlapping tracks are credited to Chastain in the liner notes of the Ballad of... I'm going on the assumption they are not the same versions, perhaps with the exception of the Hollies cover ,"Clowns," which sounds nearly identical on both sources, whereas everything else doesn't. I apologize in advance for any confusion. And speaking of covers, you'll also be treated here to a remake of the Velvet Underground's tear-jerking "Candy Says." If anyone can fill me in on the names of the two untitled songs, drop me a line. Enjoy.
01. This Perfect Day
02. Sunflower
03. Delaware Rain
04. The Bicycle Song
06. Clown
07. Nothing Else
08. There Before the Dawn
10. Rain
11. All Fall Again
12. Candy Says


evr said...
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evr said...

Hey (2nd attempt!),

I'm not really of any help here. Those unnamed songs are new to me. Your assessment of the tracks seems right on. They seem to date from 87-89 during the Choo Choo Train/Springfields era. This Perfect Day is too crappy sounding to know if it's the released version or a rough mix. Delaware Rain and Clown both sound like the released version (maybe a rough mix?). All the other songs are unreleased or demos (unless they appeared on comps I don't know about).

Hope this helps!

brad Krohn said...

track 09 is called "Twenty Question Lie" and the Periwinkles tracks are from 1986...i've had this tape since Paul Chastain made it...my sister and I went to U of I and she palled around with him and turned me on to his stuff...cool post!

Brian said...

On the original Eric Menck "Firetruck" tape, the second track is actually called "Smile" (the title before it was called "Sunflower,") and track 4 is titled "Happy Bicycle," and track 5 is "Bells." These were released on Ric's "Popsicle Tapes" cassette label in the mid-80s (as well as tapes by The Nines, Matt Allison, Nick Rudd, and The Reverbs). Love your blog! Thanks! -B

Brian said...
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